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Why did the 49ers get Jimmy Garoppolo for ‘just’ a second round pick?

If Jimmy Garoppolo continues progressing like he has through his first three starts, the 49ers might have the steal of the century.

AFC Championship - New England Patriots v Denver Broncos Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers appear to have made quite the steal in acquiring Jimmy Garoppolo from the New England Patriots for a second round pick. It has only been three starts, but Garoppolo could very well be the team’s answer at quarterback.

There has been a lot of talk about how the Patriots are excited seeing him succeed, and that Bill Belichick felt confident Garoppolo could be the guy to eventually replace Tom Brady. However, with Brady indicating he wants to play for several more years, they had to make a decision with Garoppolo as he approached free agency in 2018.

A common question as Garoppolo has played out of his mind is how the 49ers got him for “just” a second round pick. It’s a high second round pick and given that the Patriots drafted him with the 30th pick of the second round in 2014, it’s going to be a good deal higher in return.

Prior to the trade, any rumors about Garoppolo indicated the Patriots wanted at least a first, if not multiple firsts to do a deal. So if that was the case, what made them come down in price? Tim Kawakami put forth this tweet about asking sources for a theory as to, “why the 49ers only had to give Belichick a 2nd-round pick for Garoppolo.”

The responses are amusing to say the least. There are people who want to believe the deal was done in advance of the Super Bowl and Shanahan tanked things on purpose. That’s my favorite nonsense theory.

Friend of the site offered a theory that has been making the rounds for a while now. There is a notion that Bill Belichick has been prepared to move on from Tom Brady sooner rather than later, but Bob Kraft was not down with that. Belichick was left having to get anything in return for Garoppolo, and this was more immediate, and more than a third round comp they would have otherwise received.

Something involving Belichick, Kraft, and Brady does actually make some sense. I don’t think we’ll ever get a firm answer, so we are left to speculate and float conspiracy theories.

We heard a lot about the Patriots wanting more for Garoppolo. That was all speculation, but it is possible the Patriots simply were not getting the kinds of offers they wanted. They wanted to get something in return for Garoppolo before he hit free agency. In that case, I could see something to be had in getting him out of conference to a team with a solid structure in place. The 49ers are in a rebuilding process, but a respect for John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan makes sense in this situation.

What is your favorite theory for why this deal happened the way it did?